Exciting changes are coming to Taste the Local Difference this year! First, we are pleased to announce two new employees in West Michigan. Second, we will publish one statewide Local Food Guide in 2020. These changes will allow us to better serve our partners throughout the state as well as residents and tourists to Michigan.
I apologize for often referring to the fact that the Upper Peninsula (UP), although 30% the land mass of Michigan, contains just 3% of the state’s population. A new comparison I was able to make with the help of the Michigan Brewers Guild Website, is that the UP is home to almost 18% of the breweries that make up our “great beer state.”
Many of us all have that one dish that seemed to make it to the dinner table more often than most. My mom, who worked full time, often deferred to a boxed, rice based, one dish meal. A portion of starch, a packet of seasoning, add in your favorite protein, serve white bread and margarine on the side, and voilà! – dinner.
I’m not throwing shade at my mom’s cooking skills, she was a busy woman, who volunteered often and had three kids, plus, I was the world’s pickiest and most dramatic eater. I distinctly remember a few nights where we sat at the kitchen table for an hour before my parents would become frustrated and set me free.
Years later, not only do I have a much different palette, but I also have friends with kids, and I am truly amazed at how they somehow manage it all! I wonder if they sleep? I don’t even have pets and often fail at feeding myself a proper meal. So, the following recipe is an ode to my super-mom, and all they busy parents out there. I hope it can help you support local and encourage healthy eating while keeping in mind your busy schedules and tight budgets.
Curious about how the concepts of business and sustainablity can co-exist? Interested in meeting local entrepreneurs and professionals exploring how to live into triple bottom line business values?
Detroit is the Motor City but, believe it or not, you don’t need to drive everywhere. Renowned restaurants, farmers markets, and tasting rooms can be found along easily walkable routes. So call a rideshare, grab your bike, or hop on public transit, because you won’t need your car to enjoy a leisurely summer walk in one of these local food hot spots.
Pickling is one of my favorite ways to celebrate seasonal produce. The process is simple, quick, and almost mess-free. Pickled vegetables are great to have on hand in the fridge for an easy flavor boost on salads, sandwiches, tacos, or rice dishes. It’s fun to experiment with different combinations of vegetables, herbs, and spices and the results are reliably beautiful and delicious. Best of all, pickling short season vegetables like asparagus lets you enjoy them for longer without sacrificing too much texture or flavor.
Farming is a tough business not for the weak of spirit. The rigors of farm life are mentally, intellectually and physically demanding and farm businesses operate under a myriad of variables humans have little control over. Most farmers are motivated to keep up the grueling pace in order to positively change the social and environmental landscape of their communities through healthy food.
This season, with its historically cool and rainy weather, farming has been especially tough. Plantings are behind. Some crops were lost. Hay can’t be cut. Grazing fields are flooded. Stress is high. We can’t change this season’s weather, but we can stand by our farmers and show them extra appreciation and remind them why they’re doing this important, life giving work.
How do you like to grow, cook and consume dark leafy greens?
With support from the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) grant, two Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency Head Start programs will be improving their culture around health, local food and classroom nutrition education in the upcoming months. The BHC program focuses on are incorporating nutrition education into their curriculum. They do this by offering hands-on taste tests and cooking lessons of vegetable and bean based recipes. By focusing on these topics, children and their families will be able to incorporate what they learn through Head Start at home. The grant also includes funding to offer children and their families a first-hand experience interacting with local farmers at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market in downtown Traverse City.
Every summer the The Little Fleet in downtown Traverse City incorporates the bounty of northern Michigan in their handcrafted cocktails and we love it! These creative and refreshing farmer’s market inspired cocktails highlight ingredients from local farms and orchards in our region.
This year, we’re excited to pair up with The Little Fleet to bring you fresh, local-inspired libations featuring different farms each month through Fall. You can follow @tastethelocaldifference for featured cocktails, spirits, recipes, and what’s in season at the farmers market.